One of Woodburn's busiest intersections is also one that draws a fair number of speeding drivers.
But recent steps taken by the Woodburn Police and city council, coupled with involvement from Oregon Department of Transportation, could serve to curtail those violations considerably.
The Mount Hood Ave. and N. Pacific Highway 99E intersection is already equipped with a Redflex camera system that catches and cites vehicles that run red lights, of which there have been roughly about 3,000 per year in 2017 and 2018.
Those same cameras have the capacity to monitor speed.
Woodburn Police Lt. Jason Millican put together a photo-speed enforcement proposal and presented it to the Woodburn City Council on Monday, July 22. The council in turn authorized Millican to submit his proposal to ODOT, which is the next step in the process of establishing such enforcement.
One councilor, Lisa Ellsworth, opposed the move.
Photo speed enforcement is relatively new to the state of Oregon, becoming legal in 2017 when the Oregon legislature passed a bill allowing cities to implement it. It stipulates that vehicles must be travelling at a rate of at least 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
Millican said roughly 5.5 million vehicles travel through the intersection north and south each year (that number does not include east-west traffic). There were 14 accidents reported in 2017, 6 with injuries, and 16 reported accidents with 10 injuries in 2018.
"We have noticed an increase in reported traffic accidents over the last three years," Millican told the council. "I say reported because not every accident is reported to us."
The lieutenant also stressed that Oregon State Police reports that fatalities on Oregon highways increased 20 percent in 2018.
Click here to read the rest of the story in the Woodburn Independent.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.